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Friday, August 18, 2017

Governors to stop embarrassing nurses' strikes, says Oparanya

Trans Nzoia nurses demonstrate outside Kitale County Referral hospital as they join other nurses in a nationwide strike on June 13, Corazone Wafula
Trans Nzoia nurses demonstrate outside Kitale County Referral hospital as they join other nurses in a nationwide strike on June 13, Corazone Wafula

The nurses’ strike is an embarrassment to governors and county bosses are working to ensure health workers do not strike for five years, Kakamega’s Wycliffe Oparanya has said.

“We met as a council on Tuesday in Nairobi and chairman Josephat Nanok is on the matter. The strike is embarrassing because people are dying as a result,” he said.

Oparanya did not give details of the solution the Council of Governors is seeking.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses went on a countrywide strike on June 5 to press for conclusion, signing and registration of their CBA with the government. The strike has disrupted services in public hospitals countrywide.

However, nurses in some counties are at work.

On Friday, Kakamega county served all the 1,300 striking medics with a notice to return to work by Monday or face the sack for participating in “an illegal” strike.

But the nurses’ union has maintained members will not resume work without the registration of their CBA.

They have also said they will not renegotiate the pact.

On Tuesday, Nanok said governors cannot honour the Sh40 billion CBA because it is too expensive.

He said counties and the Commission for Revenue Allocation proposed an allocation of Sh314 billion to counties in the Division of Revenue Bill, 2017, but the National Assembly slashed that to Sh291 billion.

On the same day, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said the nurses’ strike is justified, as the money for implementation of the CBA is available.

“Governors should not mislead Kenyans because health is fully devolved and they have the money to implement the agreement,” the governor aspirant said.

“The fact that nurses are working in Makueni, Trans Nzoia, Meru and Bomet counties is proof that health is a responsibility of governors and not the President.”

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